As the end of 2021 draws closer for MCU fans, the hype continues to build to a fever pitch for the long-awaited debut of Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17, 2021. It's been well-documented just how wild this film's plot will be compared to anything Spidey has tackled in the past, even taking the opportunity to bring some elements of his solo movies into this MCU threequel.
Of course, Peter Parker already had enough on his plate to deal with two years ago when Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio revealed the kid's identity to the world and immediately sent him into crisis mode. This all came before Marvel and Sony decided to throw the Multiverse into play and allow characters from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spidey films into MCU canon, shocking the world.
The movie's first trailer from August 2021 played to that dynamic brilliantly by not only showing the first full MCU look at Alfred Molina's Otto Octavius but also giving a shot of the Green Goblin's pumpkin bomb and slightly teasing other potential antagonists.
While fans and critics theorize who will officially be fighting Peter Parker and Doctor Strange, the film's crew is still remaining as mum as possible on the matter.
No Spidey Villain Confirmations from Jon Watts
An excerpt from the latest issue of Empire Magazine teased some of the madness on-screen and off-screen for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Former Sony executive Amy Pascal teased this movie's use of the Multiverse, which serves to amplify Peter Parker's identity crisis that started at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. While trying to figure out a way for the world to forget he's Spider-Man, Peter seems to open "Pandora's box" and has to deal with Multiversal consequences as a result:
"The Multiverse was a good way for us to explore the problem of him becoming known to everyone. Peter opens Pandora's box. And that's what the Multiverse is."
While the Mutliverse is confirmed to bring in Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus, Marvel is playing as coy as possible on any other villains coming into the MCU. When asked about specific bad guys like the Lizard, Sandman, and Electro, director Jon Watts remained mum by only "(confirming) those are rumors."
As for the confirmed Doc Ock appearance, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige couldn't hold back his excitement about having Alfred Molina back in the role again.
He recalled discussions with Pascal about how to actually revisit Doc Ock within the MCU after introducing new villains like Vulture and Mysterio. In the end, Feige said "it would have to be" Molina playing the character, calling the decision "perfect casting:"
"I remember having discussions with Amy Pascal years ago. Do we want to revisit villains we've seen before?' No, let's do Vulture, and Mysterio, and characters we haven't brought to the screen before. But I remember thinking, 'How would you even do Doc Ock again?' because Alfred Molina is perfect casting. If you ever brought him back, it would have to be him somehow."
No Way Home Remains Under Wraps, for Now
While Marvel Studios is clearly tackling the Multiverse in Phase 4 and using it to push new stories forward, its appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home makes for something truly special in the superhero movie landscape.
Alfred Molina unquestionably spilled the beans on his comeback as the mechanical-armed genius, detailing the de-aging process for this movie and exactly how he comes in from the end of Spider-Man 2. That movie is still one of the most highly-regarded outings in superhero movie history, largely due to Molina's performance, and it's clear that he was the only choice for Marvel to take the villain to the MCU.
While Marvel and Sony almost had to include Molina in promotional material due to this reveal, the team is taking any means necessary to keep the rest of the film a secret. The first trailer included cleverly-placed teases for other rumored players, like Jaime Foxx's Electro and Rhys Ifran's Lizard, but teases are all anybody will get for most of the next two months.
As fans eagerly wait for the movie's second trailer, these secrets and more will continue to be the talk of the fandom with anticipation still building for arguably the biggest threequel in MCU history.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will swing into theaters on December 17, 2021.